Does your body tense up with fear when you need to visit the dentist? Would you rather suffer the pain of a toothache than go to the dentist’s office? Welcome to a club of many. Many people are so scared about going to the dentist that they skip needed treatment.
For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry can take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from surgical procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the patient.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Some refer to sedation as “sleep dentistry,” but patients are normally awake.
Sedation dentistry has become very popular because it offers benefits for both the patient and the dentist. For some patient groups, the use of sedation dentistry is actually the only way that they can get the dental care they need and improve their dental health.
Sedation is excellent for people who have a real fear or anxiety that is causing them to not go to the dentist for check-ups, exams, or treatments.
Sedation dentistry is also beneficial for patients who:
The following are types of sedation offered at our dentist office:
Inhaled minimal sedation. The patient breathes laughing gas through a mask that is placed over their nose. The gas has a relaxing effect. Your dentist controls the level of sedation the patient receives. Afterward, the gas usually wears off in a short period of time. Usually, the patient can drive home after this type of sedation.
Oral sedation. Oral sedation doses can range from minimal to moderate. For light sedation, the patient takes a pill. Usually, it is taken about an hour before the dental procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy, but they are still awake. If your dental treatment requires moderate sedation, a larger dose may be given to produce medium sedation. This is the most common type of anesthesia used in sedation dentistry. For some people, moderate sedation causes them to become groggy enough to fall asleep during their dental procedures.
The levels of sedation used include:
Light sedation – you are awake but relaxed.
Medium sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) – You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.